The quality of photography and videography primarily depends on the quality of lenses. When we think of high-end lenses, we usually consider wider aperture, better optics and so on. But there are some unorthodox lenses that enable you to capture images in a certain manner which you usually can’t do with a conventional lens. The Tilt-shift lens is one of those lenses. But what is it? And why should you get a tilt-shift lens? In today’s post, we are going to discuss all these in detail. So with that being said, let’s begin.
What is a Tilt-shift Lens?
When we use a regular camera with a standard lens, the camera sensor and the lens stay parallel. So, if you want to change the perspective of the composition, it requires you to move both the camera and the lens together. For example, if you want to capture what’s on the right side or the left, or up or down, you have to move the whole camera along with its lens to change the perspective, just like we do when shooting a panorama. But changing the camera position might bring in some issues in many situations. So you might want to keep the camera position as it is. And this is where a tilt-shift lens comes in handy.
A tilt-shift lens, as the name suggests, has the ability to shift its position, up-down, left and right, along with Tilting. And here is an example showing the tilt and shift of the lens. By doing so, we can change the frame and composition without needing to move the camera. Now that we have understood what a tilt-shift lens is, let’s now focus on the usage of this lens.
One of the main reasons for tilt-shift lenses being widely popular is their ability to correct the perspective distortion. And if you are thinking about how it is corrected, first, we need to know why perspective distortion happens in the first place. When we usually capture an image, the subject, optics and the sensor remain in a straight line. But when the frame you want to capture is not in line with the camera, we have to tilt the camera to frame the composition. And when the imaging plane is not parallel to the subject you are photographing, it creates a perspective distortion.
With a tilt-shift lens, you don’t have to tilt the camera. Instead, you face the camera straight to the subject and shift the lens instead. And you can see the distortions are gone.
The ability of tilt-shift lenses to correct the distortion has made it popular in many forms of photography, where the exact shape of objects is crucial, such as architecture, interior and product photography.
Playing With Focus
Another prominent feature of the tilt-shift lens is its ability to adjust the depth of field creatively. Previously, we have discussed the shift feature of the lens. And now, we are going to discuss how you can utilize the tilt to play with the focus.
Usually, when we focus on a specific distant object, everything nearer or further from the object gradually starts to look blurry. But with Tilting the lens, you can get a picture where everything in the frame is in focus, front to back, even when using a moderately wider aperture.
You can also use the same technique to restrict the focus to a specific portion just by tilting the lens the other way. Additionally, using the tilt, you can also achieve the miniature effect.
So that was all about why you need a tilt-shift lens. Undoubtedly, the tilt-shift lens opens the possibility of more improved and unconventional photography in many ways.